Action brought on 11 October 2018 — European Commission v Federal Republic of Germany

(Case C-635/18)

Language of the case: German

Parties

Applicant: European Commission (represented by: C. Hermes und A.C. Becker, acting as Agents)

Defendant: Federal Republic of Germany

Form of order sought

The Commission claims that the Court should:

declare that, since 2010, the Federal Republic of Germany has breached its obligations under Article 13(1) of, in conjunction with Annex XI to, Directive 2008/50/EC 1 by systematically and continuously exceeding the annual limit value for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in 26 zones of air quality assessment and management (DEZBXX0001A agglomeration of Berlin, DEZCXX0007A agglomeration of Stuttgart, DEZCXX0043S district of Tübingen, DEZCXX0063S district of Stuttgart, DEZCXX0004A agglomeration of Freiburg, DEZCXX0041S district of Karlsruhe (without agglomerations), DEZCXX0006A agglomeration of Mannheim/Heidelberg, DEZDXX0001A agglomeration of Munich, DEZDXX0003A agglomeration of Nuremberg/Fürth/Erlangen, DEZFXX0005S zone III Central and Northern Hesse, DEZFXX0001A agglomeration I (Rhine-Main), DEZFXX0002A agglomeration II (Kassel), DEZGLX0001A agglomeration of Hamburg, DEZJXX0015A Grevenbroich (Rhineland lignite mining area), DEZJXX0004A Cologne, DEZJXX0009A Düsseldorf, DEZJXX0006A Essen, DEZJXX0017A Duisburg, Oberhausen, Mülheim, DEZJXX0005A Hagen, DEZJXX0008A Dortmund, DEZJXX0002A Wuppertal, DEZJXX0011A Aachen, DEZJXX0016S urban and rural areas in North Rhine-Westphalia, DEZKXX0006S Mainz, DEZKXX0007S Worms/Frankenthal/Ludwigshafen, DEZKXX0004S Koblenz/Neuwied) and the hourly limit value for NO2 in two of those zones (DEZCXX0007A agglomeration of Stuttgart, DEZFXX0001A agglomeration I (Rhine-Main));

declare that, since 11 June 2010, the Federal Republic of Germany has failed to fulfil its obligations under the second and third subparagraphs of Article 23(1) of, in conjunction with Section A of Annex XV to, the same directive and in particular the obligation to keep the exceedance period as short as possible in the 26 zones in question;

order the Federal Republic of Germany to pay the costs of the proceedings.

Pleas in law and main arguments

Since 2010, the Federal Republic of Germany has systematically and continuously exceeded the annual and hourly NO2 limit values set out in Annex XI in 26 and 2 areas respectively, and has thereby infringed Article 13(1) of, in conjunction with Annex XI to, Directive 2008/50/EC of 21 May 2008 on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe.

Contrary to the second and third subparagraphs of Article 23(1) of, in conjunction with Annex XV to, the directive, since 11 June 2010, the Federal Republic of Germany has failed to adopt measures in the air quality plans of the 26 zones in question which would be appropriate to keep the exceedance period as short as possible. The inappropriateness of the measures results from, inter alia, the duration, trend and severity of the exceedances of the limit values and the examination of the air quality plans established for the zones in question.

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1 OJ 2008 L 152, p. 1.